Cancer patients say experience is better at Norwich hospital

Cancer patients at a Norwich hospital say they are benefiting from better services, according to the results of the national survey.

The survey provides detailed information on cancer patients' experiences of cancer services and the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital NHS Foundation Trust is among the 10 most improved compared to how they scored the year before in 2010.

Overall, the second national cancer patient experience survey showed that 98 trusts have improved on their results from last year, and at the N&N 89pc of cancer patients rated their overall care as excellent or very good.

The survey allows the NHS locally to see how it is performing and to focus on areas where improvement is needed, including better information for patients and better support during inpatient stays.

Key findings for the N&N show 91pc of patients said they were given clear answers (the same as in 2010); 96pc were treated with dignity compared to 95pc 2010; 83pc were seen quickly up from 79pc in 2010, and 86pc were treated with respect compared to 84pc in 2010.

Alan Stephens, pictured, chairman of Together Against Cancer, a Norfolk patient group, said: 'We speak to many patients and carers and the survey results back up what we have found ourselves. A lot of hard work has been put in over the last year. Helping people, holistically, through a very difficult time is challenging so we are really pleased that this has been acknowledged.'

Jo Nieto, consultant gynaecological oncologist at the N&N, said: 'We're delighted to see an improvement in how patients rate their experience with us. Coping with a cancer diagnosis and treatment is very difficult, so it's reassuring to know that we are supporting people in the best possible way during a challenging time.'

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Secretary of state for health Andrew Lansley said: 'An improved patient experience for cancer patients is fantastic news and I would like to thank those doctors and nurses who have worked tirelessly to improve standards of care.'

The survey was completed by more than 70,000 patients this year which was up from 2011.

Trusts have taken action in a range of different ways since the last survey, to tackle the issues identified. In addition, Quality Health, who carried out the survey, went to talk through the results with last year's under performing Trusts and most of these have now significantly improved this year.

While the survey showed an improvement from 2010, it also highlighted areas which trusts will need to look at including national findings which revealed that only 60pc of patients said doctors or nurses definitely gave their family or someone close to them all the information they needed to help care for them at home.

Do you have a health story? Call reporter Kim Briscoe on 01603 772419 or email